Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Police Arrest 84 in International Crackdown on Italian Mob

Police Arrest 84 in International Crackdown on Italian Mob

Masked police stand in an ice parlor in Duisburg, western Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 as authorities conduct coordinated raids in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands in a crackdown on the Italian mafia.

More than 80 people, including high-ranking members of the powerful organised crime syndicate, accused of drug trafficking and money laundering, were arrested in coordinated raids in six countries, European Union justice agency Eurojust said.

Eurojust, which is based in The Hague, will give more details about the raids at a press conference at 12am.

Eurojust, the EU's Judicial Cooperation Unit, is a unit established to fight cross-border organized crime in Europe.

Speaking in The Hague, De Raho said the arrests "are nothing for 'Ndrangheta".

Dozens of suspected members of the 'Ndrangheta mafia were arrested on Wednesday in co-ordinated raids as part of what is being hailed as the biggest ever European Union operation against organised crime.

It has surpassed Sicily's Cosa Nostra and the Naples-based Camorra in influence thanks to control of the cocaine trade and is the sole mafia organisation to operate on all continents, according to anti-mafia prosecutors.

05 December 2018 North Rhine-Westphalia Pulheim During the large-scale raid against the Italian Mafia police arrested one of the alleged main perpetrators. The owner of Osteria is accused of being a member of a criminal organisation and of having been
Police also raided an Italian restaurant in Pulheim North Rhine-Westphalia Germany

Dutch chief public prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said dozens of raids also netted about 2 million euros (£1.7 million) in criminal proceeds as well as drugs including ecstasy and cocaine.

But Federico Cafiero De Raho, Italian anti-mafia and anti-terrorism national prosecutor, sounded a note of caution, saying the raids only scratched the surface of the powerful 'Ndrangheta, whose tentacles and illicit activities spread all over the world.

Deputy Prime Minister Luigi di Maio hailed the operation as "one of the biggest blows inflicted on the mafia" by the Italian authorities. They are accused of committing "serious crimes" including activities linked to worldwide drug trafficking, Italian police said in a statement.

Two people were also arrested in Luxembourg, and one in Suriname.

Germany's Der Spiegel reported that the German operation was mostly concentrated in North Rhine-Westphalia - a stronghold for the mafia - and involved 240 police and another 240 support staff from the federal criminal agency.

"Today we send a clear message to organised crime groups across Europe", Eurojust vice president Filippo Spiezia said.

On Tuesday, Italian police arrested new Cosa Nostra boss Settimino Mineo and dozens of other suspects in Sicily. 80-year-old jeweller, Settimo Mineo, was detained in a dawn raid in Palermo.


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